The fall semester concludes, and MBU football makes waves throughout students and staff members.
Padded uniforms. Strong student athletes. Touchdowns. Quarterbacks. Linemen.
What does all this mean for Missouri Baptist University? How do staff and students feel about the addition of a football team at MBU?
President Dr. Alton Lacey and Director of Athletics Dr. Tom Smith announced at a news conference last March that MBU will be adding a new football team to its already diverse list of collegiate athletics.
Led by head coach Jason Burianek, the new National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics football team started a scrimmage season this fall and will begin a regular season equipped with 100 players next fall.
This new addition will be sure to bring widespread changes to the campus. How do staff and students feel about the team’s upcoming effects on campus?
Transfer Counselor Beth Kinsey said she is optimistic about the new team’s attraction to possible students.
“I’m really excited. I think students will be very excited about it because they ask quite frequently if we have a football team,” Kinsey said.
Freshman Admissions Counselor Daniel Wood agreed with Kinsey and said he believes the new team will also add activity for dorm students.
“I think it’s going to bring in more excitement, more enrollments, more life and more activity for the dorm students,” Wood said.
Transfer Counselor Craig Bodenschatz said he believes the new team will make the campus more active and vibrant.
“Instead of being a five-day week commuter campus, it will hopefully become a six-day week vibrant campus,” Bodenschatz said.
Cindy Payne, receptionist and switchboard operator, is looking forward to increased staff involvement on campus.
“I’m hoping that it’s going to get more faculty and staff to support the school’s teams,” Payne said.
Students are also buzzing about the new team, displaying mixed emotions about the positives and negatives a football team will bring to MBU.
Caleb Wehunt, a music ministry major, said he looks forward to this new outlet for potential students.
“I think it will be positive. It will give Mobap good recruiting opportunities and give students a reason to come here. I think it will also increase evangelism opportunities,” Wehunt said.
History major and former soccer student-athlete, Lucas Donnelley, shared a different perspective than Wehunt.
“In my opinion, I believe it was an especially fiscally irresponsible decision. Our assets could be better allocated in the betterment of already existing sports as well as striving to improve our academic credentials,” Donnelley said.
Biology pre-medical major and track student-athlete, David Lee, agreed with Donnelley about the funds required to support an additional team.
“I don’t think we have enough money for programs currently. As a member of the track team I know that we don’t have much money as it is,” Lee said. “I understand aspirations to grow the campus, but we need to worry about what we have already.”
English major Brianna Jones said she believes the football team will bring a pervasive yet positive shift to the campus.
“I think it’s a really cool idea that MoBap is branching out and trying new things. The team will bring more people to MBU and will bring more people to events because football is so popular,” Jones said. “I hope this new addition decreases tuition. A big asset to team spirit will be the cheerleading squad and pep band at the games. This team will absolutely affect more than a couple of guys playing ball.”
Whatever the result, positive or negative, the new football team will definitely change the dynamic on MBU’s campus.